Mark 1:35-39 NRSV 35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." 38 He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
My wife’s family used to say that stubbornness was in their DNA and I have no doubt that’s true. I witnessed this stubbornness at family reunions when money needed to be exchanged. One person would try to pay another back for something. The “payee” would not take the money under any circumstance. This resulted in cat and mouse game of the “payer” hiding the money in the “payee’s” purse, car, etc. The “payee” would find it and then hide it in the “payer’s” purse, car, etc. Both were stubborn to get their way.
In this week’s text we meet a stubborn Simon (Peter). Jesus has gone off to pray. Simon is determined that Jesus is going to return to his house and heal the people that continue to come for healing since the night before. Jesus had healed Peter’s mother in law and the news traveled quickly and all night they came. Jesus had to get away. I can’t imagine how tired he must have been.
In the NRSV it says that Simon “hunted” him down. This Greek verb “is very strong, usually used with a hostile intent” (Mary Ann Tolbert). Simon hunts him down as if Jesus had forgotten what he was supposed to do. He was going to get Jesus back on task on make him do what he was supposed to do. Jesus says (my words) “You don’t get it. I came to proclaim the Good News not be a wonder worker. We must go and proclaim my message everywhere.”
This won’t be the first time that Peter tries to make Jesus into his idea of a Messiah instead of letting Jesus be the Messiah he was sent to be.
Are you stubborn? Are you trying to make Jesus into what you want him to be not the Messiah he is meant to be?